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PLC raps Amnesty over abortion law criticism

By Sarah Mac Donald - 26 February, 2015

Cora Sherlock

Cora Sherlock

The Pro Life Campaign has strongly criticised the findings of Amnesty International’s annual report which accuses Ireland’s abortion law of not complying with human rights obligations.

In a statement on Wednesday, PLC spokesperson Cora Sherlock said if Amnesty was truly dedicated to human rights, the organisation would be calling for a repeal of the abortion law.

In its report on Ireland, Amnesty International criticises the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act and the guidance for clinicians in this area published by the Department of Health, claiming that they do not provide sufficient guidance to medical professionals in assessing when a pregnancy poses a risk to life.

Amnesty also claims that they did not adequately protect the rights of the pregnant woman or girl.

However, Cora Sherlock, deputy chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign, challenged the human rights agency’s claims.

“Instead of criticising the law for not being permissive enough, Amnesty should be drawing attention to the fact that it permits the destruction of unborn human lives based on no medical evidence.”

“The abortion legislation introduced in Ireland in 2013 permits abortion throughout the full nine months of pregnancy on a threat of suicide, despite the fact that two sets of Oireachtas hearings showed that abortion is not a treatment for suicidality,” she said.

She added, “Amnesty International was once an organisation that you could depend on to defend human rights. However, it has now become a body that openly campaigns for abortion while steadfastly ignoring the human rights abuses that happen in other countries with permissive abortion regimes.”

The PLC spokesperson criticised Amnesty for never once having condemned the horrific practices that “routinely happen in countries like Britain where babies born alive after abortion have simply been left to die.”

Cora Sherlock concluded her statement with a rebuke to the organisation which was founded by a Catholic, stating “If Amnesty was truly dedicated to human rights, they would be calling for the repeal of Ireland’s abortion law and not seeking to introduce even more abortion in Ireland.”

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